Tuesday 24 August 2010

Oh where oh where has it gone?

I've lost my waist!
Every Saturday morning -well most Saturday mornings I walk with the lady across the road - a friend I made years ago when I went to weight watchers when I weighed less than I do now - (funny really I'd be happy now to be my starting weight last time!) before I bought this house across the road from her. We were chatting organising our Saturday morning walk when she mentioned the dreaded WW words.
Weight Watchers....
She has brought up the subject a couple of times but I really have not been in the head space for it. When I went before I had an undiagnosed thyroid condition and it was such a huge struggle. I would gain weight even when I did every single thing correct or if I did lose weight it would be 150g a week VERY slow progress and very demoralising especially as the leaders were virtually telling me I must be cheating but I persevered for almost two years to lose about 15kg.
Well I've agreed to go with her tomorrow I can't do this on my own and I need to lose some weight for my health this time not to look better, although that would be a bonus.
I am nervous and not sure if I am really ready for this fight and struggle but I must start somewhere and my neighbour and I made a good weight loss team before so fingers crossed!
I hope to find my waist again at least one somewhat closer to the one I've lost!

Thursday 19 August 2010

Looking forward to the school hall fiasco!

I've just come home from an Art Blast network meeting. It was hosted by an art teacher who has just moved into her brand new art room a part of an "arts block" that was one of the choices available in the so called school hall fiasco. It is beautiful, a large purpose built room with adequate store rooms and a new kiln room with a new kiln. The block also has a sound proofed music room, two classrooms and a huge wet area. It is absolutely stunning!
And guess what!  My school is getting one too! It won't be ready for a while as we had some issues with the fact that our school is in part heritage listed.
Some people complained that we didn't have a lot of choice- a school hall/undercover area, a library and an arts building. We had a library and an undercover area built some time ago with some serious fundraising so I believe about 20-30 years ago. The rest of the school although its grounds are picturesque as a result of some very dedicated parents and staff the buildings have definitely seen better days. The pokey rooms designed for rows of benches and slates are now bulging with resources /desks computers and completely different approaches to learning all of which were never dreamed of when the school was built. There have been years where very little has been done due to the fact that funding for repairs does not go far when you are dealing with a school that is almost 100 years old and is in an area that is not poor enough to get extra funding but not rich enough to get large amounts of funds from voluntary school fees and fund raising.
I for one am very happy about this so called fiasco and cringe every time I hear the school hall project derided in this election campaign. Only 2.7% of schools complained - very loudly I guess.
But I can't wait!!!!!!
It will be wonderful!!!

Saturday 14 August 2010

A lazy day.

I spent the day being very lazy today. Although I was back at work on Thursday and Friday I felt very tired today.
I slept in until 10 o'clock. Lovely! Then I pottered about making breakfast for Chicky Babe and myself- Hot buttered crumpets and tea-Yum.
My second daughter (CB's friend) came over so I went out to buy a tiny tiny brush from the art shop and then called in to The Happy BBQ, to pick up some take away dim sum for the girls and I for lunch. Steamed Pork Buns are Chicky Babes all time favourite indulgence.
The decor here is pretty basic and the flower arrangements are wrapped in plastic wrap (why??? I don't know I'd say it's because it is easier to dust but they are pretty dusty. Can you see them on the bench?)
Anyway the food is delicious and it is always full with people lining up out the door on a Sunday.
Then I sat and worked on my painting for a while with my teeny tiny brush,. It is very nearly finished, I just have to decide what colour yarn each one will be working with.
While I thought on it I pottered in the kitchen and decided to make some pasta using spelt flour as Tim has decided wheat is not good for him. I had made some spag bol last night very basic with peas and corn as that is what Chicky Babe wanted.
The pasta took only a few minutes to make, a little longer to roll and cut but it was in my opinion well worth the trouble.
Rustic Spelt Pasta
1and 3/4 cups of spelt flour
one very generous pinch of salt

Mix together with a knife in a large mixing bowl. Knead as the dough comes together for a few minutes. Add a sprinkle of extra flour if needed. I added about a tablespoon or two, eggs vary in size so it is tricky to be exact,plus I am not an exact cook I go by feel and instinct. Wrap in plastic wrap or damp cloth for 10 mins to rest (the dough not you it's not hard work!)
Roll pasta through pasta roller. TIP: I found that this flour was a little sticky I don't know if it was my quantities or they type of flour but I found it easier to cut the dough in small pieces and run them through the pasta roller in these smaller batches. do all of them at each number down to about the third last one.
Slice them into strips and cook in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 1 or 2 minutes according to your taste. I did a practice one first.

As I finally found the camera cord I have been able to download pictures from my camera, the last few posts have been downloaded-books or scanned my painting in the last post, I can show you my favourite things I found last week at a garage sale.
my new old mirror...
and my painting dated 1948. I love the view and the washing on the line in the front left hand corner.
 Actually now that I think about it my day wasn't that lazy after all.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Funny is in the eye of the beholder.

I've been enjoying scribbling and drawing using my 'Birthday Books' mentioned in my last post. I have discovered that I like to draw with my left hand even though I am right handed. I like the quality of line I make when I use my left hand. Perhaps it goes straight to my right side of my brain and I can get to the creative part more quickly especially when I've spent the day being logical and 'teacherish'.

I've been unwell and off school for a couple of days and when I started to feel a little better yesterday afternoon I started a little painting to show the kids in preparation for an activity with my year 5/6 class (a local council run art activity with a local artist) which makes references to the work of Rebecca Cool. Rebecca uses fabrics glued to her canvas over which she paints. These become a part of the work as some parts of the fabric design shows through the paint..

The two unfinished circles on the bench are balls of wool one will have a crochet hook the other a pair of knitting needles. Although not directly portraits, Chicky Babe recognised the two ladies because of their- in her words- "funny clothes, like knitted hats and cardigans and Birkenstock" (not normal clothes worn by ordinary mothers of her friends.) I am one of them and Anki is the other. I'm sure she will have no problem at all with not being seen as 'normal' or average.
Hopefully I'll get a chance to finish it off tonight, if I get all my homework done first!!

Thursday 5 August 2010


I went into the front garden this afternoon and discovered that my almost birthday present arrived today from Amazon. I ordered some books for myself - having a little splurge on myself. ($63.00 all up for 3 books and delivery.) They were to be delivered by my birthday but actually arrived almost two weeks early. 
  So far this is the only one I've really looked at  so far. It has some good ideas in it for me and some that I will use with the kids at school. The main reason I bought these was to motivate me to try and fit time in for creative play ( I typed work and then erased it and put play, because I want to have some fun and enjoyment with some artworks.) I figured 52 creative exercises to make drawing fun= 1 activity per week that should be an achievable goal.
Artist journals have always held appeal to me but I have been too uptight to have one of my own. I have several drawing books on the go most of the time but they are an eclectic mix of scribbles, magazine cuttings, shopping lists, house floor plans and school to do lists, drawings, doodles and plans. I couldn't do without them, I feel uneasy if I don't have one on hand but they are not beautiful in the way "artist's journals" can be.
I become stumped, stifled and worried that the pages deserve more than I can give them and I falter - hence "The confident creative" (It was only about $10 and as it added little to the shipping costs I threw it in as well.)  I think I should approach the journal in much the same way as this blog- almost a stream of consciousness approach, just do it and see what comes. It doesn't matter if I fail and I might just surprise myself in the process. I actually don't worry too much if other people like my work, it is me I often have a hard time convincing.

Now I'm going to make a cup of tea and spend some time exploring the other two and think about what other things I can spoil myself with for my birthday (still 2 weeks away but I think I could find at least a few more things to spoil myself with before then.)

Sunday 1 August 2010

lazy sunday afternoon...

Started the day buying fresh fruit and veg at our local Farmer's Market that opened this weekend. Fantastic! within walking distance from home!
After preparing the quince I went outside to work on my curly crocheted scarf. I hung it on the tree and it reminded me of wisteria.
I have no idea what type of tree this is. Does anyone know? (I solved Anki's mystery and I'd be happy if someone could help me!)

I spent the afternoon crocheting in the sun...

with Pablo to keep me company.

The sky was BLUE! not a cloud in sight - this is actually a photo of the sky from my chair not just a colour swatch.

The garden was pretty...if you looked past the faded chairs and assorted bits and pieces that need a bit of attention.

And I finished my scarf in time to go and visit my mother.

Late night cake bake...

I suddenly got the urge to bake a cake- at 11.30 tonight (well yesterday it's now 1am on Sunday)
I tried the Secret Mexican Flourless Chocolate Cake. It is simple to make - except that I had my oven on too hot and burnt the edges a bit.
It is extremely chocolaty and very rich. And surprisingly cakey for a cake with no flour at all.
 The recipe calls for 1/4 tspn of cayenne. I've never added this to a cake before but thought I'd trust the recipe and go for it, thinking to myself it is not that unusual as the Mexians put chili with chocolate so why not cayenne. It gives the cake an unusual but not unpleasant warm aftertaste which I quite like but Chicky Babe was not at all impressed!